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Dolch Basic Sight Words

Oral and written

What are Dolch Words
• The Dolch words are the 220 most
frequently found words in books that
children read. These words are usually
learned in first and second grade; students
who learn these words have a good base
for beginning reading. Many of these
words cannot be sounded out because
they do not follow decoding rules, so they
must be learned as sight words.
• The Dolch Basic Sight Vocabulary Test of
220 words contributes 50-75% of all school
reading matters. This test determines the
child’s degree of reading efficiency in terms
of sight word recognition. It can be easily
given to any class or subgroups with in the
class that seem to lack the ability to
recognize common words quickly at sight.
How is it used ?
• One way of estimating a primary student’s
reading level is by having the student
identify the 220 Dolch Basic Sight Words.
The number of words recognized is the
basis for assigning his/her equivalent
reading level.
The scale is as follows:


0 - 75 Pre-primer

76 - 120 Primer

121 - 170 1st Year / First reader

171 - 210 2nd Year /second reader

Above 210 3rd Year + / third reader

This passage contains all of the 220
Dolch Basic Sight Words

• The Best Thing In The

Principles to follow in oral testing of
the Basic Sight Words:
• 1. Each child must be tested individually, far
enough from the others so that he/she will not be
disturbed by others.
• 2. If the child shows fatigue , he/she may be
given the test at two settings.
• 3. Each child is told to say the words he knows.
As the correct response is given , the examiner
draws a line through the word on his own test
sheet, not on the child’s.
• 4. The time allowed for pronouncing each word
should be 10-15 seconds. At the end of the 15
seconds the teacher will point to or present the
next word.. For children who have had no
phonics, 10 seconds is long enough since at one
look a child either knows a word or doesn’t know
it . Children who have had little phonics may
take a few seconds to sound a word, but the
word is counted wrong if they can’t get within 15
• 5. Give Credit-
• a. if the child could pronounce the word at
• b. if he could sound it out and pronounce it
on first trial
• c. If he corrected himself immediately
after miscalling it and then pronounce it
Do not give credit:
• a. if he miscalled it and then after correctly
pronouncing one or several others on the list,
came back to that word and read it correctly.
• b. if he took more than one trial of sounding to
get It
• c. if he miscalled it and gave more than one
original mistaken word before getting the right
one. e.g. if the word could a child said called,
cold, could he is given no credit.
Do not give credit….

• d. if he omitted the word then later

came back and gave it correctly.
• e. If he hesitated longer than the
fifteen seconds, before giving the
Dolch Basic Score Scale
Dolch Word Known Reading Level Equivalent reader level
0-20 1.1
21-40 1.2 0-75 Pre-primer
41-60 1.3
61-80 1.4
81-100 1.5 76-120 primer
101-120 1.6
121-140 1.7
141-160 1.8 121-170 First reader
161-167 1.9
Dolch Word Known Reading Level Equivalent reader level
168-171 2.0
172-175 2.1
176-180 2.2
181-185 2.3 171-210 2nd reader
186-190 2.4
191-195 2.5
196-199 2.6
200-202 2.7
203-206 2.8
207-210 2.9 211-220 3rd reader
211-220 3.0
Directions for Testing on the Dolch list
(Oral Reading)
• 1. Give one copy of the Dolch list to the child.
Let him fill the necessary data called for.
• 2. Get this copy for scoring and give another
copy to the child from which to read the following
“These words are found in books in school and in
newspapers, magazines and other reading materials.
Now, this is what you are going to do.
When I say “Begin” you are to look sharply at each
word and read each clearly as fast as you can from top
to bottom.”
Directions.. Oral test
• 3. start the test when you think that the child has
established rapport.
• 4. Mark with a (/ )check all words said correctly.
• 5. Give approximately 15 seconds maximum per
word. Go much faster if possible.
• 6. Indicate by writing in the word what a child
says when he gives wrong pronunciation.
• 7. Do not count poor enunciation as
mispronunciation: agin for again, wan for when,
git for get. However, indicate the child’s
Directions.. Oral test
• 8. Put no marks at all on words which a
child does not try or says he doesn’t
• 9. Mark every word which a child says
wrong. If he later corrects himself and
pronounces the word correctly indicate
this by putting( ) beside the word.
Directions.. Oral test
• 10. Add comments on the side of the
sheet whenever possible which will give
clues to the child’s reaction, such as: “He
knows much of his phonics. ”He is inclined
to spell out the words ;He evidently
depends upon context clues”
• 11. The score is the number of words
marked with (/)
Testing the Dolch Basic Sight Word
Auditory-Visual: Written
• The test is presented in part I and II so that the
pupils may do one side of the sheet and then,
after a short period or at a later time, do the
other side. Older children may take both parts
• The test is given by asking the pupils to circle
one word on each line. The first time it is done is
called “First Trial” and covers ½ of the 220 Basic
Sight Words .Later on a new sheet is given out
and the children are asked to circle one word on
each line as the “second trial”
Written Test
• Complete coverage of all the words on
both parts is desirable, so that the teacher
may know just how far the children have
gone in mastering such essential set of
sight words. The teacher may make up a
class record by checking the individual
papers on the class record sheet and can
see which words are known and which are
not.her further teaching can be guided
Directions for Giving
The Basic Sight Words (Written)
• 1. See that the pupil has a sharpened pencil. It is
sometimes advisable also for each to have a
marker so that his attention will be kept on the
line he is working with.
• 2. Then distribute the papers and have the
names and date put on each paper. The date is
important because sight word knowledge grows
day by day, and the teacher will wish to know
later at just what time the test was given.
Direction… written
• 3. Tell each pupil to look up the first line
forwards. Tell the word to be circled (use the
word list in the scoring sheet.) Then move about
the room to make sure the circles are made
• 4. Then tell the children to look at the second
line of words , and circle the next test word. Give
enough time for the pupil to look carefully at
each word, but remember that if a child knows
the word by sight, he will recognize it very
quickly. Don’t allow him to puzzle over the word.
Direction… written
• 5. Tell the pupils s, if they do not find the
word on the line, not to mind but to go on
to the next line. Do not encourage
• 6. Watch to prevent copying. Change the
seating of pupils who look on the papers
of others.
Mastery of Dolch Basic Sight
• 1. Keep a record of words that the children
misses in daily lessons. Work with them in
small sets concentrating on 15-20 until
fairly well mastered.
• 2. Use the sequence on Dolch Basic Sight
Word Test Sheet. Those were arranged
from easiest to hardest.
• 3. Give sufficient oral reading to be sure
accuracy is improving.
4. Let pupils read phrases alone or in sentences
where phrase is underlined, and write or select the
word that classifies the phrase.

• Phrase • Word
• The lazy boy • Who
• Long sticks • What
• Over the gate • Where
• After the rain • When
• Because you know • Why
5. Guide them to phrase words into
• Things we can do • Things we did
• run play • ate
• come walk • run
• go ride • came
• wish read • read
• eat hold • saw
• jump write • said
• wash clean • went
Teaching the Basic Sight Words
• Strategies:
– Use of meaningful association
– Use of pictures
– Providing exercises in categorizing or
grouping words according to their meanings
– Introducing and reviewing words in
meaningful phrases
– E.g. the function words are best practiced in
meaningful phrases , as to the store,
near my house ,for the boy.
Sample test result
• Case A; The result of
Carlito’s basic sight word
test showed that he b. Teach phrasing
read… c. Name first letter of
• no for on each word
• was for saw d. Allow finger pointing
• top for pot
e. Re teach left to right
• dear for read
• era for are
• tub for but f. Sound first letter of
each word
• What will help overcome g. Allow oral spelling of
this defect? the words
Case B: Lily’s test result. The words to be
read are in the first column
• walk walking
• wash washing • Which will help
• take takes correct the defect
• pull pulls
• pick picks • Read slowly
• run runs • Spell words orally
• Name the first letter
• Sound the last letter
Case C: Roberto read the following words in
this way…

• big bag • Which should be

• like bike done to overcome
• eat cat substitution?
• fast far
• • Careful reading
many money
• • Use in sentence
could would
• Write each word
many times
• Spell aloud
Games and Devices
the she I they in

was a of you and

to that but he

said he for was had

and his they on it

Thank you for
Regina R. Albay